Thursday, October 19, 2006

Citizen Collaborative Work

Recently, I have been reading some articles on policies and mechanisms for collaborative work on virtual environments like the Web and I have found some interesting works on reputation schemes to ameliorate the quality of collaboration on collaborative content production.

A while ago I came across an article by Tom Cross on First Monday (Puppy smoothies: Improving the reliability of open, collaborative wikis) which proposes a simple mechanism to allow users to identify parts of a Wiki article that it is not "mature" yet. The rationale behind the approach proposed by Cross is that texts that survive a sufficiently long period of iterative and collaborative editing process may be considered mature and accurate. Conversely, texts recently added may contain inaccuracies. So, readers should be aware of which part is still not mature.

Today I have found a site which promotes the collaborative content production, Bikely. The idea is to allow users to share their bike routes, to add comments and share information about these routes. Basically, a use case for a combination of Wiki and Google Maps. :-)

In that context, I was wondering about a mechanism which could improve the quality of information about routes and comments on routes. In my first thought, the assumption used by Cross may not apply here, since routes could be out of date over time in contrast to text that gets mature. It has also the case where routes and comments are misleading. Anyway, I believe this is a good motivation to think about a reputation scheme with a nice application.

By the way, check out my routes:

- Flamingo - UFCG (Campina Grande, PB, Brazil).
- Chesnut Park - UC Davis (Davis, CA, US)



Andy said...

kewl, there is also the thing where you can share cars and whatnot. If I actually had more time I would make a site that would create a price comparison for supermarkets.

Anonymous said...

Heya, yeah the puppy smoothies article is good starting point- but i think that the ultimate solution has to involve user reputations (at least in a relatively well organized system like wikipedia) where per user contributions can be estimated and are well known. I'm working with a few other students on formalizing some of these ideas into a testable hypothesis for making wikipedia more reliable through a reputation system, but its still in the works. I can let you know once we have something to show.

- ivan

Elizeu Santos-Neto said...

Hi Ivan,

Thanks for the coments!

I've been talking to a friend about that. We also have plans to do something soon on that direction (reputation systems + wikis).

Our first question was: what is a good a way to quantify the improvement in quality and information reliability on a wiki-like site with the reputation mechanism ? If I understood correctly, this is more or less what you're try to come up with, right ?

I also share your opinion that reputation mechanisms for wikis should be based on user reputation.

Have seen Citizendium Project ? It seems to be a good testbed for a study on reputation schemes as we discussed above.

I'm certainly interested in seeing and discussing more on that. Please keep me posted! I could also send you something later.